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Next phase of Newport on the Levee begins, multi-level destination to be community gathering place

Major construction on the redevelopment of Newport on the Levee begins this week, announced local real estate company North American Properties (NAP).

Located along the Ohio River with connections to the Purple People Bridge and views of the Cincinnati skyline, the multi-level mixed-use destination is being transformed into a vibrant gathering place for the community. By mid-2021, the new Newport will feature an active public realm, reenergized Gallery Building and enhanced connectivity with the waterfront, streets and bridges.

Initial construction on the redevelopment began in June 2019 with the demolition of the building formerly home to Mitchell’s Fish Market. The pandemic temporarily slowed construction progress, so NAP used that time to create Bridgeview Box Park, a vibrant container park featuring eight local restaurants and retailers along the river. 

“Rather than pausing all efforts with the onset of the pandemic, we pivoted to focus on delivering Bridgeview Box Park as a fun and safe place for the community to come out of isolation and gather together again, while still having space to physically distance,” said Tim Perry, managing partner at NAP. “We are excited to start this next phase of construction and bring our vision for the new Newport to fruition. It’s time for Newport on the Levee to be a regional destination, drawing people to enjoy its irreplaceable views, new mix of uses, engaging events and places to convene with family, friends and neighbors.”

Throughout the Levee, a series of open-air communal spaces are taking shape, with the addition of greenspace, fresh landscaping, lighting, sun shades and seating throughout the Promenade level. These spaces between the buildings where the community can hang out and gather while physically distancing are of the utmost priority to the development team and play a leading role in the new Newport experience. 

Another major focus of the redevelopment is the 113,000-square-foot Gallery Building, which will become a weather-proof locale for the public. While great open-air spaces like the Aquarium Plaza are getting facelifts, The Gallery Building is undergoing radical surgery so that it serves as a venue for events as well as a place to relax, get work done and spend time with friends and family. The westside of The Gallery Building will be demolished and replaced with a striking, all-glass wall to flood natural light into the space.

The redevelopment plan also calls for enhanced connectivity throughout the Levee and surrounding area. As part of the Gallery Building renovations, a new entrance will directly connect the eastside of the building with the Purple People Bridge. Additionally, a new parking garage entrance is being created to improve access from Third Street, and the valet circle will be modified to enhance traffic flow. In June, the $1.2 million Riverfront Commons Pedestrian Bridge opened, connecting Taylor Southgate Bridge to the riverwalk level of the Levee.

Several of the other buildings at the Levee are slated for cosmetic upgrades, including new exterior paint following a fresh color palette of whites and grays. While renovations are underway, businesses will continue to stay open and accessible to guests. Both the Newport Aquarium and AMC have recently reopened to the public, along with most of the existing restaurants and retailers at the Levee.  

There is also a variety of complimentary outdoor events and entertainment lined up at the Levee this year, including Wellness on the Levee, a weekly yoga series on the riverwalk level, and Newport Nights, a weekly live acoustic music series at Bridgeview Box Park. 

NAP’s COVID-response program, Better Together, continues to create a comfortable environment for the community to come together at the Levee. As part of the effort, NAP established a number of safety measures and made physical changes on property, such as the addition of artful hexagons on the ground of the Central Plaza to remind guests to keep a 6-foot distance. The full list of safety measures can be found here.

Cincinnati-based Turner Construction is the construction manager for the project. Global consulting firm J.S. Held is serving as owner’s representative. Reztark Design Studio is the architect of record providing design services.

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  1. Frank Fessler says:

    It would be nice if you make the area in the center an atrium. Then guests can still sit outside when it’s raining or the weather is a little chilly.

  2. Brenda sharpe says:

    They should not put new businesses there, they need to build a BLM monument or museum, just like the black history museum in Cincinnati. That would bring true success and vibrancy to the area and being social justice.

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